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Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict
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CHAPTER XXXVIII.

How a mad woman was cured in his cave.

In the cave also in which he formerly lived in Subiaco, even to this day, miracles are wrought upon such as repair thither with true faith. For very lately happened that which I now relate. A certain woman bereft of reason, and altogether distracted in her senses, roamed over mountains and valleys, through woods and fields by day and night, never resting, except when forced from weariness to lie down. One day, as she raged thus madly up and down, she lighted upon the cave of blessed Benedict, and by chance entered and remained there. The next morning she came out as sound and perfect in her senses as if she had never been out of them, and from that time remained all her life in the health which she had there recovered.

PETER.

What should be the reason that we experience, even in the patronage of martyrs, that they do not bestow so great favours by their bodies as by their relics: yea, and do greater miracles where themselves be not?

GREGORY.

Where the bodies of holy martyrs lie, no doubt, Peter, but there they are able to shew many miracles, as they do; for to such as have recourse unto them, with pure mind, they shew many marvellous favours. But forasmuch as weak souls might doubt whether they be present to hear them or no in those places where their bodies be not, it is necessary to shew more miracles where weak souls may doubt of their presence. For they whose minds are fixed in God have so much the greater merit of faith, that though their bodies lie not there, yet they be there present to hear our prayers. Wherefore Truth Itself to increase the faith of His disciples said: “If I go not away the Paraclete will not come unto you.” For whereas it is certain, that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, always proceedeth from the Father and the Son: why doth the Son say that He will go from them that the Paraclete may come, who never departeth from the Son? But because the Disciples beholding our Lord in the flesh, did desire always to behold Him with their corporeal eyes, it was rightly said unto them: “Unless I go away the Paraclete will not come.” As if He had said plainly: If I withdraw not My bodily presence, I do not shew you the love of the Spirit: and, unless you cease to see Me carnally, you will never learn to love spiritually.

PETER.

What you say pleaseth me.

GREGORY.

Let us now for a while cease our discourse, that by silence we may be the better enabled to prosecute the miracles of other saints.

THE END.

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